posted under Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online" (Mar 12, 2013)
Apparently the Online Editor of the Pleasanton Weekly isn’t up to date concerning Pleasanton school district finances, unfunded liabilities, and the significant cost increase about to consume district budgets throughout the state. The costs I'm referring to can only be hidden from full view for another year or so, or until the new GASBy reporting rules take effect. The new guidelines coming from the credit rating agencies, in conjunction with the new GASBy rules will also impact the cost of borrowing. If this editor thinks ANY "hefty balances" ACTUALLY exist then I think the editor needs to do more homework.
The premise of financial stability (hefty balances) is so flawed it represents a disservice to the entire community. If the “ Pleasanton school district to end fiscal year with hefty balances”, and everything is just peachy, then why has the district been spending 100’s of thousands of taxpayer dollars to raise millions in parcel tax funding from property owners?
The truth is the district has known about the impending increase in pension costs for several years but completely ignored the problem. The unfunded pension liability has now grown too large to ignore, or at least you would think so. Unfortunately, during this time of understanding the problem actually exists, the PUSD has seemingly done nothing to mitigate the problem while doing much to exacerbate it.
As it relates to PLANNING for the future, TRANSPARENCY, and BUDGETING accordingly, I’m giving the PUSD an “D-”. I sincerely hope that the parents of school age children, and also the taxpayers that are sure to be asked for more Parcel Tax funding & Bond Funding, ignore the irresponsible headline at the top of this page. It’s (past) time parents ignore the cry’s of wolves in sheep’s clothing (the PTA, CTA, School Board, Governor (and even the Pleasanton Weekly)) and understand that their increased tax dollars aren’t really being spent on education.
“It’s All About the Kids” is mostly about a very effective campaign slogan coming from the unions/union members that have the most to gain. I know that’s a very difficult concept for many to rap their heads around - but it’s true for the most part! Like always follow the money - and it isn‘t going to improving education.
My hope is that people who read what I’ve wrote will at least challenge what’s considered by many as the status-quo. In other words, or in part anyway, will the Prop 30 money taxpayers voted for increase education funding for more programs and reduced class sizes? I don’t think so. I believe the answer is NO.
Is it true that Prop 30 dollars will stay in the classroom? For those not paying close attention there are several recent articles from both national and local publications (WSJ & many others), and also the teachers retirement system itself (CalSTRS), that doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the California school system or their/our financial stability.
I also find it difficult to believe that both the PUSD, and the On-line Editor of the Pleasanton Weekly, can independently come to the same very flawed conclusion regarding school district finances - but it appears they‘ve done just that. Apparently their budget horizon only extends to the next… Unfortunately the CA educational system and our tax dollars aren’t in sync.
Link to the original article (Pleasanton school district to end fiscal year with hefty balances): Web Link